Ben Stokes of England celebrates victory after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final match between Pakistan and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.
Robert Cianflon | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
Ben Stokes played in a final again as England became two-time white ball world champions after defeating Pakistan by five wickets and winning the T20 World Cup at the MCG.
Jos Buttler’s side added the T20 trophy to the Over 50 Silver they lifted in dramatic style at Lord’s in 2019 and are now the first men’s team to hold both titles simultaneously.
Stokes played a crucial part in the chase against New Zealand three and a half years ago and was again at the heart of the action with his unbeaten 52 from 49 balls as he propelled England to their 138 target on a spicy pitch with an over against a fine and heated Pakistani bowling attack.
England were reduced to 45-3 on the power play when openers Alex Hales (1) and Buttler (26 on 17) – so destructive in the 10-wicket demolition of India in Thursday’s semifinals – and Phil Salt (10 on 9) were sacked and were over 84-4 in the 13th when Harry Brook (20) was brilliantly caught on a long-off by Shaheen Shah Afridi.
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Shaheen injured himself on that hold and subsequently drew a ball into the 16th over – with Stokes then beating his substitute, off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed, for four and six straight balls to reduce the requirement to 28 balls out of 24 and England would not to be denied as the wicket of Moeen Ali (19 of 13) comes too late for Pakistan.
Stokes clinched his first T20 international half-century with the four leveling the score before dragging the singles through the leg side that carried England to the title and gave him redemption when he needed it from the 2016 T20 final with Carlos Brathwaite smashed him for four straight sixes to lift the West Indies trophy.
Sam Curran (3-12), Adil Rashid (2-22) and Chris Jordan (2-27) had previously excelled with the ball – Rashid excelled in the middle overs with his wickets including Babar Azam, who caught and bowled was – as was Pakistan after insertion – restricted to 137-8.
Adil Rashid caught Pakistan captain Babar Azam bowling his own as England conceded a crucial wicket at the MCG
England secured a second T20 World Cup title and tournament victory after success in the Caribbean in 2010, which seemed a long way off after a modest loss to Ireland at the MCG last month.
England rallied to overwhelm New Zealand, overtake Sri Lanka and decimate India before beating Pakistan to bolster their opponents’ hopes of winning a second T20 World Cup and repeating their victory over England at the MCG in the year 1992 to destroy in the 50-over final.
Fate seemed to be on Pakistan’s side, with this campaign largely mirroring the 1992 tournament – slow start, scrapes into the semis, beating New Zealand in the semis, tallying England in the final – but England trumped them in Melbourne.
Curran, Rashid star with ball before Stokes completes job with bat
Curran, who finished the tournament with 13 wickets at an average of 11.38 and an economy rate of 6.52, bowled Mohammad Rizwan (15) in the fifth over after Pakistan was inserted and returned during the death overs, to have top scorer Shan Masood (38 out 28) and Mohammad Nawaz (5) caught at deep midwicket.
Rashid, meanwhile, was masterful down the middle, removing Mohammad Haris (8) with his first delivery of the game and then pocketing key scalp Babar (32 of 28) when the Pakistan captain sliced a googly back to him and the bowler deep sagged to his right.
Babar’s exit came early in the 12th with Pakistan 84-2 and they lost six wickets for 47 runs.
Stokes and Jordan removed the other members of Pakistan’s top 6 when Stokes snapped off Iftikhar Ahmed (0) after finding an extra jump and Jordan had caught Shadab Khan (20 of 14) in the middle.
A 138 chase against the tournament’s best bowling attack on a fruity course was never going to be easy, and it proved it when Shahen Hales closed from his sixth ball – left arm scoring for the eighth time in his first Over T20 international – and fellow seaman Haris Rauf then fired Salt and Buttler.
Salt hit midwicket in the fourth over and Buttler smashed into wicketkeeper Rizwan in the sixth over to give England a little shake before Stokes and Brook eased them a touch with a fourth wicket record of 39 from 42.
Stokes would have been needed after slipping at 51 but shyness at the stumps was unpredictable and he led England to victory on his 47 from 33 record, Moeen taking the match away from Pakistan.
England will stay in Australia to play a day-long, three-game international series against Australia, starting in Adelaide on Thursday, ahead of games at the SCG on Saturday and MCG on November 22.
They then travel to Pakistan for a three-game Test series, their first Red Ball tour of the country since 2005, starting in Rawalpindi on December 1st and taking place exclusively live on Sky Sports.